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CDS Daily brief (11.04.23) | CDS comments on key events

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Snapshot of the day:

General, humanitarian:

  • Russian forces attacked 9 Ukrainian Oblasts in the course of the day on April 10; 7 civilians were injured in Donetsk and Kherson Oblasts.
  • 13,900 unemployed people in 16 regions are involved in the “Recovery Army” government project, whose goal is to rebuild Ukraine while providing employment opportunities;
  • 717 out of 1,374 civilian victims of Russian occupation in Kyiv Oblast were killed by small arms, which indicates that the shooting was deliberate;
  • A third of about 70 railway bridges damaged by the Russian invasion has been rebuilt;
  • Russian forces mine as much territory around occupied Enerhodar as possible, trying to create a defensive barrier against the Ukrainian counteroffensive.


  • The pace of the Russian offensive in the Donetsk direction is slowing down; Russian troops are preparing for defense;
  • The intensity of shelling in the Donetsk direction decreased by a third compared to February 2023.
  • Possible operation situation developments: During the week, the Russian military will continue to try to meet its tactical objectives in the areas of Bakhmut, Avdiyivka, and Maryinka


  • The Russian Federation stalled the Grain initiative; Ukraine raised the issue with the UN and Turkey, which helped broker the deal.


  • The U.S. sees no indication of Egypt providing Russia with weaponry capabilities. Egypt also denies such intentions. Though Egypt depends on Russia’s wheat supply, it’s even more dependent on U.S. assistance, and jeopardizing it could have been unwise.
  • The Senate is to look into Ukraine-related aspects of the leaked documents. The U.K. warns about the documents’ inaccuracy, while Ukraine believes they don’t contain any information that may damage the counteroffensive.
  • The U.S. reassured of its ironclad support for Ukraine on the background of low assessments of Ukraine’s ability to secure significant gains in the forthcoming counteroffensive alleged in the leaked documents. Ukraine’s ability to regain territory depends on rather speed and amount of weapons supplies than on abstract assessments and excuses that Ukrainian military personnel needs a lot of time to acquaint themselves with Western-made weapons systems.
Humanitarian aspect:

As part of the “Recovery Army” government project, 13,900 unemployed people in 16 regions perform socially useful work, the State Employment Service reports. Poltava Oblast, where

almost 3,500 people joined the project, is in the lead. Also, Donetsk, Kyiv, Kharkiv and Sumy Oblasts are in the top-five leading regions. Fixed-term employment contracts are concluded with the unemployed, with compensation of at least UAH 6,700.

Andriy Nebytov, head of the Kyiv Oblast National Police Department, said that to date, the number of civilians who were killed during last year’s occupation of Kyiv Oblast is 1,374. 717 of them were killed with small arms. That is, more than half were shot deliberately. 340 people died from landmine and shrapnel wounds; the cause of death of 317 people has not been established. 195 bodies still remain unidentified. He also informed that 279 people are currently considered missing. There is also information that some of the people were forcefully taken to the Russian Federation.

Ukrainian Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets named several Russian citizens whom Ukraine offered for a POW exchange, but the Russian Federation has refused for 2 months. He called on relatives of Russian POWs to contact him, and his office will work to return their relative to the RF.

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation, about 70 railway bridges have been damaged in Ukraine, JSC “Ukrzaliznytsia” has already managed to rebuild a third of them, the chairman of the board of the railway company Yevhen Lyashchenko said.

Russian attacks

According to local Oblast Military Administrations, Russian forces attacked 9 Ukrainian Oblasts during the day on April 10. Civilian facilities and housing were destroyed in many regions, 7 civilians were injured in Donetsk and Kherson Oblasts.

  • Chernihiv Oblast: there were 3 instances of mortar shelling, Novgorod-Siversky district got hit. No victims or destruction were reported.
  • Sumy Oblast: yesterday, during the day, the Russians shelled border communities of Bilopillia, Khotyn, Velykopysarivka, Myropillia and Shalygine 9 times. 118 hits were recorded.
  • Zaporizhzhia Oblast: Over the past day, Russian troops have carried out 66 artillery strikes, 4 airstrikes, 7 attacks using UAVs, and 2 with MLRS.
  • Dnipropetrovsk Oblast: On April 10, the Russian army attacked the Nikopol district three times during the day and at night. They also shelled the Marhanets community with heavy artillery.
  • In Kharkiv Oblast, the enemy shelled about two dozen towns and villages. No victims or injuries were reported.
  • Luhansk Oblast: the enemy conducted an unsuccessful offensive over the past day in the Lyman direction. Novoyehorivka, Makiivka, Nevske, and Bilohorivka were subjected to artillery shelling.
  • Donetsk Oblast: There were 5 wounded civilians over the past day. The enemy shelled populated areas of at least 10 towns and villages with artillery and tanks; carried out several airstrikes.
  • Mykolayiv Oblast: the Kutsurubivka community was shelled with BM-21 “Grad” and anti- aircraft missiles during the day.
  • Kherson Oblast: during the past day, the Russian forces shelled the Oblast 56 times, firing 285 shells. The medical institution, the museum and the administrative building were hit. Two people were injured. Also, in one of the villages of the Beryslav community, the Russians opened fire on a boat with two peaceful people.
Occupied territories

In the temporarily occupied territories of Luhansk Oblast, the occupation administration conducts a housing inspection to identify abandoned residences. In particular, this happens in Starobilsk. The main goal is to accommodate the Russian occupation forces, the National Resistance Center of the Ukrainian MOD said. The Center noted that the occupiers acted similarly in 2014 as well; they placed firing points or housed military personnel in local residents’ abandoned houses and apartments.

In Enerhodar, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, local residents must obtain permission to move around the region. Those who applied for permits are subject to thorough checks for membership in the Defense Forces of Ukraine. In some places, the invaders even search residences, the Ukrainian General Staff said in a statement.

In the last two weeks, local residents of the temporarily occupied Enerhodar have noticed that the Russian military is trying to mine everything around the city, said the mayor of Enerhodar, Dmytro Orlov. “If until now only the coastline and the territory around the perimeter of the nuclear plant were mined, now they have moved to mining the surrounding villages, forest strips, and forests. They are afraid of a counteroffensive of the Armed Forces and are trying to protect themselves,” – Ukrinform quotes Orlov.

Operational situation General conclusion:
  • The Russian military concentrates its main efforts on offensive actions in the Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Maryinka directions;
  • The pace of the Russian offensive in the Donetsk direction is slowing down; Russian troops are preparing for defense;
  • The intensity of shelling in the Donetsk direction decreased by a third compared to February 2023.
  • Units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled over 52 Russian attacks in different directions;
  • The Russian forces attacked unsuccessfully in the areas of Makiivka, Chervonopopivka, Kuzmyne, Dibrova, Verkhnyokamianske and Bilohorivka of Luhansk Oblast; Hryhorivka, Khromove, Avdiivka, Severne, Nevelske and Maryinka of Donetsk Oblast; they tried to take full control of the city of Bakhmut. The fiercest battles continue for Avdiivka and Maryinka;
  • Russian troops unsuccessfully attacked near Yampolivka, Torske, and Nevske but captured new positions in the Serebryansk Forest area. The attack of the 4th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 2nd Army Corps, the 14th BARS detachment and the Chechen “Akhmat” detachment failed near Bilohorivka and Kreminna.
  • The enemy advanced slightly to the southwest of Bakhmut and to the north of Sacco i Vanzetti.
  • The Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled Russian attacks near Bohdanivka, Khromove, Avdiyivka, Berdychi, Severne, Pervomaiske, Vodyane, and Maryinka.
  • The Russian military has somewhat improved its tactical position in the areas of Krasnohorivka, Novokalynove, and Novobakhmutivka; battles continue near Keramik, Severne, and Pobyeda.
  • Russian troops continued intensively constructing defensive lines and fortifications in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia directions. They set up mine and explosive barriers, built additional fortifications around Vasylivka, and tried to simulate the retreat from Nova Kakhovka in order to mislead the Ukrainian troops and disrupt their counteroffensive plans.
Change in enemy disposition:
  • A possible formation of a “volunteer” motorized rifle regiment is considered in the Republic of Bashkortostan, the Russian Federation. The previously formed “volunteer” battalion “Vatan” is going to Ukraine in the coming days. In the Khabarovsk Territory (Russia’s far east), the recruitment of personnel for the “Khabarovsk” and “Kofra” “volunteer” battalions continues.

Escalation indicators: Not identified.

Possible operation situation developments:
  • During the week, the Russian military will continue to try to meet its tactical objectives in the areas of Bakhmut, Avdiyivka, and Maryinka.
Azov-Black Sea Maritime Operational Area:
  • The number of Russian ships has not changed; there are 4 ships at sea. They are located in their patrolling areas near the coast of Crimea. Among them, there is one project 636.3 submarine, a Kalibr missile carrier, located in the area of the firing position southeast of Sevastopol. It may carry up to 4 Kalibr missiles.
  • Russian aviation continues to fly from the Crimean airfields of Belbek, Saky, Dzhankoy and Hvardiyske. To control the surface and air situation in the northwestern part of the Black Sea water area, 26 aircraft sorties were carried out. Control of the air situation and operational-tactical aviation over the waters of the Sea of Azov was carried out by the A- 50U and Il-22 AEW&C aircraft.
  • The Russian military is setting up new defense lines on the left bank of Kherson Oblast, continues shelling towns and villages and positions of the Ukrainian Defense Forces on the right bank of the Dnipro River, conducts aerial reconnaissance with the help of UAVs, and partially regroups the available forces.
  • From April 11 to 13, field exercises of “Rosgvardiya” units will be held at the interservice military training ground “Opuk” for practical training and combat coordination.
  • The intensity of the movement of military equipment by road and rail transport from the occupied Crimea to Kherson Oblast remains stable. From the Crimean side, railway freight trains arrive on the territory of Kherson Oblast, unloading military equipment and ammunition at the “Kalanchak”, “Brylivka”, and “Novooleksiyivka” stations.
  • The “Grain Initiative”, launched under the UN’s mediation and allowing Ukraine to export grain through the Black Sea, is in a “critical situation” due to Russia’s actions. This was announced by the Deputy Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine, Yurii Vaskov. As part of the Black Sea “grain initiative”, Russia, Turkey and the UN representatives inspect ships on their way to and from Ukrainian ports. The Joint Commission agrees on the name of the ships to be inspected. However, according to Vaskov, “no inspection took place on April 11.” The Ukrainian side submitted the names of three grain carriers, as stipulated in the agreement. But the Russians crossed out those names and submitted other vessels from the current queue of 50 ships. As a result, not a single ship managed to continue its journey, which was a “de facto blockade by Moscow”. “Today we have a critical situation. The Russians violated the terms of the Black Sea “grain initiative”. They decided to unilaterally change the plans of Ukrainian ports. This is unacceptable,” said Yuriy Vaskov. If the standoff continues, world food prices are likely to rise by 15%, Vaskov said. According to him, Ukrainian farmers will again be forced to stock up on grain, as they did last summer, and will face serious financial difficulties. He added that Kyiv has urgently raised the issue of the Russian Federation’s actions regarding the terms of the “grain agreement” on Tuesday, April 11, at the UN and with Turkey.
Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 11.04.23

Personnel – almost 179,320 people (+500);

Tanks 3,644 (+7);

Armored combat vehicles – 7,038 (+10);

Artillery systems – 2,765 (+15)

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 535 (+1); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 282 (0); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 5,620 (+13); Aircraft – 307 (0);

Helicopters – 293 (+1);

UAV operational and tactical level – 2,332 (+9); Intercepted cruise missiles – 911 (0);

Boats/ships – 18 (0).

Ukraine, general news

Ukrainian businessman, and owner of the SKM investment group Rinat Akhmetov, has launched an arbitration process against Russia. He demands compensation for all assets captured from him in 2014-2017 in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, SKM press service informed. Such assets include dozens of mining, metallurgical, energy, and real estate enterprises.

Another brigade is being formed as part of the “Offensive Guard”; it will be called “Charter”, said Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Kateryna Pavlichenko. It will be formed as part of the National

Guard of Ukraine. “Charter” will be the ninth brigade of the “Offensive Guard” and the seventh of Ukraine’s National Guard. Recruitment has already started.

International diplomatic aspect

“We’ve seen no indication that Egypt is providing lethal weaponry capabilities to Russia,” the U.S. National Security Council’s spokesman said. A senior Egyptian official also denied that Egypt’s military was planning to produce rockets for Russia. Earlier, the leaked documents indicated the readiness of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to produce and covertly supply Russia with 40,000 rockets. The country is heavily dependent on Russia’s wheat supply (57% of all imported wheat), a crucial social and political stability factor. The Russian aggression against Ukraine reduced Ukraine’s share of imports from 28% in 2021 to 8.9%. But, at the same time, since 1978, the U.S. has provided Egypt with over $50 billion in military and $30 billion in economic assistance. Annual U.S. security assistance to Egypt is about $1.3 billion. So, it is perilous for the government to jeopardize longstanding and valuable support for short-term gain. Egypt may provide those rockets to Ukraine and receive wheat as a payment, which would help to preserve stability in the country and satisfy both Ukraine and the U.S.

The U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has requested a classified briefing on the leaked classified documents concerning the war in Ukraine. The U.K Defence Ministry warned about a “serious level of inaccuracy” in the documents. “Readers should be cautious about taking at face value allegations that have the potential to spread disinformation,” the ministry’s statement reads. The Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine said that some of the information in the leaked documents was “not secret at all.” “You can find it in publicly available sources,” Oleksii Danilov said. He downplayed the importance of such information for the success of the counteroffensive, for the key decisions will be made by the staff of the Commander-in-Chief at the very last moment. Danilov also said that the Ukrainians are considering multiple options; therefore, there’s not much damage from the leaked information.

“During our call today, Secretary Blinken reaffirmed the ironclad U.S. support and vehemently rejected any attempts to cast doubt on Ukraine’s capacity to win on the battlefield. The U.S. remains Ukraine’s trustworthy partner, focused on advancing our victory and securing a just peace,” Ukraine’s Foreign Minister twitted. The leaked documents contain the U.S.’s low assessments of Ukraine’s ability to secure significant gains in the forthcoming counteroffensive. Meanwhile, the documents show that the U.S. Intelligence Community (I.C.) collects information from its allies and partners, including Ukraine. The I.C. significantly overestimated the capabilities of Russia and underestimated the Ukrainian ones before the invasion, which led to modest security assistance. Though assistance provided on the eve of the invasion and right after it helped UAF a lot, its effect could have been stronger by a magnitude should the U.S. have provided those weapon systems and in such quality, we have seen recently. So, there’s a correlation between the scope and speed of the assistance with the UAF’s ability to regain territories and degrade Russia’s warfighting capabilities. It was an excuse not to supply some weapon systems, presuming that the Ukrainian military personnel would need a long time to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to operate Western-made weapons. The UAF has proved many times that the level of knowledge and motivation allows Ukrainian military personnel to begin to operate weapons way faster than is supposed by existing standards.

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